Airspace Hazards

Fireworks, balloons, model aircraft, kites, structures, wires, etc

The table below shows a number of hazards to aviation. There are different legal requirements under the Civil Aviation Rules for the hazards in each column. Use the links at the bottom to find out what applies to your activity. Do not hesitate to contact the CAA Aeronautical Services Unit if in any doubt, see Contact Information.

Part 77 Part 101
Photo of transmission mastsStructures - such as cranes, masts, wind farms and buildings Photo of rocketsRockets - thrust 320 Newton-seconds/1.5 kg or greater (smaller rockets must use the Model Rocketry Safety Code)
Photo showing efluxEfflux from a structure - exhaust plumes in excess of 4.3 m/second Photo of model aircraftModel aircraft and unmanned aerial systems (UAS)
Photo showing large laser light displayLights - searchlights and lasers, if these can adversely affect aircraft safety Photo of free balloonFree balloons (pilotless) - 1.5 m3 or greater (party balloons do not require approval)
Photo of military weapon firingWeapons firing -(projectiles) Photo showing moored balloonMoored balloons (kytoons) - 3.0 m3/1.5 m diameter or greater
Photo of large fireworks display (pyrotechnics)Pyrotechnics - fireworks displays Photo of gyrogliderKites, parasails and gyrogliders (all tethered activities)
Civil Aviation Rules, Part 77
Click here for more info
Civil Aviation Rules, Part 101
Click here for more info
 Contact Information

Part 77

The  Part 77 (PDF) category requires notification to either the CAA, or the local Air Traffic Control (ATC) service.

To keep aircraft in navigable airspace safe, the following hazards must be notified to the CAA:

A structure that is to be built, or altered, that is:

  • 60 m (200 ft) or higher, or
  • within a Low Flying Zone  (LFZ Locations - PDF), or
  • within an aerodrome/heliport obstacle protection area (contact the aerodrome/heliport operator - see below).

A structure proposed to discharge efflux greater than 4.3 m/second that is:

  • 60 m (200 ft) or higher, or
  • within an aerodrome/heliport obstacle protection area (contact the aerodrome\heliport operator - see below).

A light, searchlight, or laser, if it can:

  • adversely affect the pilot, the aircraft operation, or be mistaken as an aeronautical light.

A weapon or pyrotechnic, if the projectile has a trajectory of:

  • 45 m (150 ft) or higher and within 4 km (2.25 NM) of an aerodrome or heliport, or
  • 120 m (400 ft) or higher and is more than 4 km (2.25 NM) from an aerodrome or heliport.


Structures must be notified to the CAA at least 90 days before construction on form:

24077/01A (PDF)   24077/01A (Word) - Notice of Proposal to Construct or Alter a Structure - Part 77

Other hazards listed above must be notified at least five working days before the activity, to either:

  • the ATC unit of the aerodrome for authorisation, if the activity is within 18 km (10 miles) of a controlled aerodrome - see below for ATC details
  • the CAA Aeronautical Services Unit on form:
    24077/01B (PDF)   24077/01B (Word) - Notice of Proposal to use a Light or Laser - Part 77
    24077/01C (PDF)  24077/01C (Word) - Notice of Proposal to use Pyrotechnics or Weapons - Part 77

Email, or tel: 04 560 9400 about pyrotechnics or other airspace hazards.

Diagram showing structure heights, and distances from an aerodrome

Part 101

In the  Part 101 (PDF 108 KB) category, participants may not need approval - just understanding of the requirements of the rule and compliance with them. However, some activities may need approval to operate, from either ATC or an Aerodrome Operator.

Activity in the Vicinity of Aerodromes

In general, if the activity is to be conducted within 4 km of an aerodrome or heliport boundary, hazards must:

  • be clear of any part of the aerodrome being used by aircraft; and
  • be at or below 120 m (400 ft); and
  • have approval from either the aerodrome operator, or ATC (if provided).

A moored balloon or kite must not operate over an active area of an aerodrome.

In addition, a rocket must not be operated between 4 and 8 km of an aerodrome/heliport boundary if it may exceed 120 m (400 ft) in height.

A free balloon must not fly below 1000 ft over a populated area.

Contact Information

Aerodrome operator details are available in the Aeronautical Information Publication New Zealand.

Current controlled aerodromes with an ATC service are:

Auckland, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gisborne, Hamilton, Invercargill, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Ohakea, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington and Whenuapai.

Contact: Airways Corporation of New Zealand
Tel: 0-4-4711888.

If in doubt, contact the CAA Aeronautical Services Unit: email, or tel: 04 560 9400.